Length: 368 pages
Audiobook Length: 10 hours and 19 minutes
First Published: 2019
Polly, Annie, Elizabeth, Catherine and Mary-Jane are famous for the same thing, though they never met. They came from Fleet Street, Knightsbridge, Wolverhampton, Sweden and Wales. They wrote ballads, ran coffee houses, lived on country estates, they breathed ink-dust from printing presses and escaped people-traffickers.
What they had in common was the year of their murders: 1888.
Their murderer was never identified, but the name created for him by the press has become far more famous than any of these five women.
In this devastating narrative of five lives, historian Hallie Rubenhold finally gives these women back their stories.
Quotes from The Five: The Untold Story of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper
When a woman steps out of line and contravenes the feminine norm, whether on social media on on the Victorian street, there is a tacit understanding that someone must put her back in her place.
The victims of Jack the Ripper were never ‘just prostitutes’; they were daughters, wives, mothers, sisters, and lovers. They were women. They were human beings, and surely that in itself is enough.
It is only by bringing these women back to life that we can silence the Ripper and what he represents. By permitting them to speak, by attempting to understand their experiences and see their humanity, we can restore to them the respect and compassion to which they are entitled.
About Hallie Rubenhold
Rubenhold was born in Los Angeles, California, in the United States, where she began her studies in history. She later moved to the UK to get her Master’s degree, and now lives in London with her husband where she writes nonfiction books and works on documentaries. Visit the author’s website →